Liquid Fert Dispenser Recommendations - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Liquid Fert Dispenser Recommendations

Ok, I've asked enough questions on this forum already the past few months. Time for me to provide some hopefully useful info. This is kind of a long post, but to get to the point, I looked at various fert dispensers and came up with some recommendation.

I'm just starting my fert dosing. I wasn't too sure what to do about the daily dispensing of ferts plus Excel. I knew I didn't want to do dry dosing. It just seemed like too much extra daily work. So the question was what dispensers to use for liquid dosing. I have the follow planted tanks:

10g low light (finally planted today)
6g med light (will plant tomorrow)
46g med-high light (will plant tomorrow)

Because of this, I'd need two sizes of dispensers, since one size would not work for all tanks, but the same should work for the two smaller tanks. The first dispenser my research turned up was the one at Green Leaf Aquariums

http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...nser-16oz.html

This could work for the 46g, but $6 x 3 plus shipping just seemed like too much to pay, plus it did not provide the smaller dispenser size I needed for the small tanks. I bit more research on PT turned up a couple of sites that sell various dispenser bottles:

http://.www.specialtybottle.com
http://www.usplastic.com

They each had ones I though would work with at least one tank. Basically all bottles are about $1, so I ordered enough of the ones I thought would work best, plus a few "samples" of others just in case they worked out better. Here are the bottles I ordered:

Specialty Bottles

#1 PAR8P Amber PET Cosmo Plastic Bottle 8oz w/ Black Pump
#2 BRA4P Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle 4 oz w/ Blk Pump
#3 BRA4D Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle 4 oz w/ Dropper
#4 BRA2D Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle 2 oz w/ Dropper

US Plastics

#5 66099 16 oz. Bottle 1/2 and 1 oz Dispensing Chambers 28/410 Neck
#6 66098 8 oz. Bottle 1/4 and 1/2 oz. Dispensing Chambers 24/410 Neck
#7 66082 8oz Translucent Bottle and Pump 28mm Cap
#8 66080 16oz Translucent Bottle and Pump 28mm Cap

#1, #2, #7, and #8 are all pump/squirt type models which dispense about 1ml per squirt. While convenient, I saw two problems. The first is the cap leaks when you shake the bottle. The 2nd is that I'm assuming the first squirt each morning will often be less than 1ml due to temp and pressure changes. This makes it unpredictable how much will be dispensed. I never actually tested this theory, since the leaking cap was enough to make me realize not to even bother.

#3 and #4 are similar. The are both quality amber glass bottles with glass droppers that reach the bottom. #3 (4oz) dispenses about .9ml and #4 (2oz) dispenses about .7ml. I like these bottles and these are the ones I chose to use for my smaller tanks.

#5 and #6 are like the Green Leaf Aquarium dispensers (at 1/4 the price). There is also a larger 32oz. I also like these and they are what I use for the 46g. Note when choosing a size, keep in mind that it is hard to dispense less than 1/2 what the dispensing chamber holds. The 8oz (which I use) has a 1/2 oz dispensing chamber and also has a mark at 1/4 oz. This means you'll get a total of 32 dispenses if you choose the smaller 1/4 oz amount to dispense. I would not recommend trying to dispense less than the smaller amount, since you won't be able to do so accurately. Thus to maximize the number of dispenses you get from the bottle, while still dispensing an accurate amount, choose a bottle size whose smaller dispensing amount is the amount you want to dispense.

That's about it. Hope you find this useful.

Chris

Last edited by cjp999; 01-10-2009 at 04:03 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 12:29 PM
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Great write up. I'm considering getting some dry ferts and mixing up once hte Pfertz stuff is gone- will be awhile but thanks for the links.

Craig

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 03:57 PM
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i use something called a catalyst dispensing bottle. they're inexpensive and provide very accurate measurements with nothing extra required, similar to the bottles posted by cjp999 but a little more accurate perhaps. just squeeze the bottle and it measures into a graduated cup on top via a siphon tube. here's a picture, not the best but you get the idea.

Last edited by fishyface; 01-10-2009 at 07:27 PM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by fishyface View Post
i use something called a catalyst dispensing bottle. they're inexpensive and provide very accurate measurements with nothing extra required, similar to the bottles posted by cjp999 but a little more accurate perhaps. just squeeze the bottle and it measures into a graduated cup on top. here's a picture, not the best but you get the idea.
where do you get those at?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 04:08 PM
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i picked it up at a local plastics supply place(http://www.plasticworks.ca/catalog/index.php) but you can find them online if you do a search. also, check with places that sell fiberglass supplies and products, they may be able to help.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 05:03 PM
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I've been using these for years....


I love these dropper bottles and I think they're perfect for my dosing regieme. They allow for pretty accurate dispensing.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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I've been using these for years....


I love these dropper bottles and I think they're perfect for my dosing regieme. They allow for pretty accurate dispensing.
This is the same as bottles #3 and #4 from my list, except they are cobalt instead of Amber. Specialty Bottles sells both. I'm not sure if one is any better than the other. Also, I couldn't find anything bigger than 4oz with .9ml dispenser. I think an 8oz with a 2-3ml dispenser would be useful for some tank sizes.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fishyface View Post
i picked it up at a local plastics supply place(http://www.plasticworks.ca/catalog/index.php) but you can find them online if you do a search. also, check with places that sell fiberglass supplies and products, they may be able to help.
http://www.plasticworks.ca/catalog/i...products_id=74

$10.76. Kind of pricey. How big is it, and what is the dispensing range?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 02:13 AM
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don't forget that's a canadian dollar and in my opinion, after using syringes etc for years, it's money well spent.

capacity is 500ml and dispensing range in to 35ml in 5 ml increments. i think i've seen these for 8 something buck usd, still well worth it to just squeeze and dump .
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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don't forget that's a canadian dollar and in my opinion, after using syringes etc for years, it's money well spent.
I'm still getting used to the exchange rate working the other way now. I grew up in Detroit area with Canadian quarters being worth 20 cents American for as long as I can remember. In any case, I was really comparing to the $1.50 for #5 and #6 in my list, so $8 still looks expensive.

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capacity is 500ml and dispensing range in to 35ml in 5 ml increments. i think i've seen these for 8 something buck usd, still well worth it to just squeeze and dump .
Ok, so it looks good for medium to large tanks. 5ml is a bit under a 1/4 oz, and is about how much Excel I need to dispense into my 46g. For a tank any smaller, I think you'd want a smaller dispenser.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 05:28 AM
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i use those on a 75g tank so it works well for me, so those bottles you use are most likely your best bet for sure.
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